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Things to do in Sydney this weekend

Find all the best events on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Photograph: supplied

Don't let the muggy cloud that's settled over Sydney deter you from having a good time this weekend. We've flipped through all the happenings and plucked out the best things for you to do. Start with a classic TGIF celebration at a Destiny's Child devoted dance party, or get low and jiggly the next night at Dutty Dancing. Prefer lower-octane leisure time? Why not try a fireside Dreamtime storytelling or wander around a St Leonards creative precinct. No matter how you spend it, the weekend is for living, rain be damned. 

What's on this weekend?


Dreamtime Stories Around a Campfire

Campbelltown Arts Centre is running a free campfire storytelling event on Saturday March 25 in aid of Earth Hour. The family-friendly event will celebrate ten years of the initiative that calls for lights out for one hour each year to raise awareness of our impact on the environment by telling Dreamtime stories from the local community. Who better to remind us of the importance of looking after our environment than the oldest surviving culture on Earth? There’ll be traditional dance, storytelling, hands-on artistic workshops and displays before local elders tell Dreamtime stories from 8.30-9.30pm. 

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Campbelltown Arts Centre , Campbelltown Saturday March 25 2017

TWT Creative Precinct Block Party

Head to downtown St Leonards this Friday night to check out the artists, creatives and businesses within one of Sydney's largest creative workspace precincts – home to around 70 creative types drawn from visual arts, performance, music and film.  The Block Party is a chance to see what these artists, performers and creators do – from live music and short film screenings to installations and exhibitions, performances, and workshops with artists. Highlights include an open studio with Michaela Gleave, the chance to see William Mansfield's 'Inferno' installation, and a crochet workshop with artist Tina Fox. 

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TWT Creative Precinct , St Leonards Friday March 24 2017

Summer Dance

It's hard to find a good place to let loose outdoors these days and thankfully Astral People have continued to open the rickety gates for us with another year of their Sunday arvo party, Summer Dance. Plying fresh air dance music lovers with another roster of house, disco, boogie and electronic live acts and DJs, Summer Dance is perfectly encased in the historical courtyards of National Art School. This week the stage will be stormed by USA legends Glenn Underground and Anthony Naples. Repping the local dancefloors will be Melburnian party mavens Daydreams and Sydney gem Mira Boru. Get tickets quick for this warm Sunday bump 'n grind among the sandstone, these things sell out pretty fast.  

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National Art School , Darlinghurst Sunday March 26 2017

The Annual Sheaf Sunday Brunch

Brunch has to be one of the best meals of the day, and now the Sheaf are making it even better with the return of the Veuve Clicquot Champagne Brunch on Sunday March 26. The event will feature a beautifully styled food spread from head chef Sam Brading. Showing off the Sheaf’s new seasonal menu, there will be plenty of charcuterie and cheese boards, an oyster bar and muesli station, crab sliders, yellowfin tuna and Yamba prawn sandwiches – plus you can go back as many times as you like until midday. Ease into the day at the DIY Belvedere Bloody Mary bar, where you can load your drink with fun garnishes like fried jalapeño poppers, bacon and prawns, or kick back with a flute of Veuve Cliquot Champagne. There will also be live music in the garden bar, and the ticket price includes a gift bag on arrival. Tickets are $65 and available now. Limited numbers are available.

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The Sheaf , Double Bay Sunday March 26 2017

Powerbomb Comedy

This weekly Friday-night stand-up smackdown features a headliner and emcee with six shorter support slots from local talent. Even better: Staves brews its own ales, and there's plenty of choice on tap.

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Staves Brewery , Glebe Friday March 24 2017 - Friday December 22 2017

Shoop! Presents a Tribute to Destiny's Child

Once a month the dance floor of Freda’s is converted into a sweaty R'n'B power-club thanks to gal-pal DJ collective Shoop! Choosing direct idolatry over pressing shuffle on random 'urban' playlists, the nights are themed according to key players of the genre. Having already conjured the power of Usher, Janet Jackson, Missy Elliot, Ashanti and Ja Rule, this weekend turns its belly-chains towards the independent woman power of Destiny's Child. Shoop will be using 10-11pm as a Beyoncé hour of power, playing back-to-back hits from the queen. And, Freda's will flinging a themed pizza special all night long. As is customary, the best dressed gets a bottle of prosecco, so start piping yourself into your most bootylicious jeans and buy headscarves in a pack of three, dressing the part is a sure-fire way to pick up bug-a-boos.   

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Freda's , Chippendale Friday March 24 2017 - Saturday March 25 2017

Fair Farmers Market

Held at the Royal Randwick Racecourse every Sunday, the Fair Farmers Market will sell locally sourced and competitively priced produce from family farms. Helmed by fresh fruit and veggie company For Goodness Sake, the market will feature 50 stalls with a broad choice of sustainably sourced, ethically produced meat, seafood, eggs and dairy, including goods from Country Valley Diary, Jenny Brown’s free range eggs and Serendipity Ice Cream. Keep your eyes peeled for creations by some of Sydney’s most loved restaurants, including Joel Best of Bondi's Best who is launching his line of poke bowls in new venture Poke Bear.

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Royal Randwick Racecourse , Randwick Sunday March 26 2017 - Sunday March 18 2018

Sydney Southern Carnival

A New Orleans-inspried carnival will be taking over Smokey's Cabin (the upstairs of Surly's) for ten days of honky tonk good times. They will be doing Southen inspired food like oysters Rockefeller, po’boy sandwiches and creole smoked chicken. There will also be special Southern Comfort cocktails like the Southern Fizz, Southern Sazerac and Southern Hurricane, plus live tunes from the soulful Sweet Jelly Rolls, the rocking Papa Pilko and the Bin Rats, and Skyscraper Stan and the Commission Flats gentle tunes. The party kicks off at 6pm each night and entry is free.

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Surly's , Darlinghurst Until Saturday March 25 2017

Dutty Dancing: Dancehall Thru the Decades

Things get sweaty and downright dirty when Dutty Dancing brings the best booty-bouncing beats to the backroom of Hudson Ballroom. Expect dancehall, Caribbean and reggae sounds through the ages with each DJ tackling a different decade. Hear Foreign Dub lay down the 80s-90s, Shantan Wantan Ichiban steam through the 00s and shake through the 10s with a set from Nick Toth.  Got a sizzlin' song request? Make sure you head over to the Dutty Dancing Facebook page and throw down your ultimate tune wish list.

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Hudson Ballroom , Sydney Saturday March 25 2017

John Olsen: The You Beaut Country

This exhibition, jointly conceived with the National Gallery of Victoria, represents the most comprehensive survey of Olsens work to date, spanning seven decades and various mediums – from his best-known paintings to ceramics, tapestries and works on paper.  The focal point for the exhibition, and its namesake, is the 'You beaut country' landscape series from the ’60s. Olsen painted these after a stint studying in Europe, during which time he developed his unique vision of the Australian landscape.

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Art Gallery of NSW , Sydney Until Monday June 12 2017

Cuckoo Callay presents Baconfest III

Okay so this probably shouldn't really be called a 'festival', it's just adding a mountain of bacon to an already pretty bacon-heavy menu at Cuckoo Callay in Newtown. But, they're calling it a festival and that's fine with us. In fact, anything is fine with us if it involves wrapping bacon around a larger piece of bacon. Take for example this signature dish they're unveiling called 'Close Encounters of the Bacon Rind' which is bacon steak, maple bacon, double smoked bacon, bacon sausage and two other ingredients you don't care about, on one plate. So get down there salty-sizzle fanatics, go throw your devotion at the altar of bacon, the 'festival' is for a limited time only.  

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Cuckoo Callay , Newtown Until Sunday March 26 2017


Volleyfest is back at Manly Beach this March for ten days of beach volleyball madness. Not since the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games have we seen this many fighting fit beach volleyballers in one place, so prepare yourself for some swift competition.    Volleyfest is a culmination of three beach volleyball competitions and will run over the space of two weeks from Friday March 17. Aussie Olympians Louise Bawden, Taliqua Clancy, Nicole Laird and Mariafe Artacho del Solar are just some of the athletes competing for Australia at Manly Beach. Expect DJs, music, fireworks, food stalls, giveaways and a bunch of celebrity matches to keep you entertained.   Early stages of the event will be free for spectators, with twilight sessions and finals tickets already on sale. 

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Manly Beach , Manly Until Sunday March 26 2017

The Dark Matters

After two blistering, provocative shows in 2016 (Heavy Artillery and Vile Bodies) White Rabbit Gallery are going zen for their next show: The Dark Matters explores how contemporary Chinese artists are working with (and in some cases against) tradition. At the same time, the exhibition will embrace certain aspects of the past, including the black-and-white colour code of traditional ink paintings. The Dark Matters will present work by 34 artists, including Lin Yan, Feng Mengbo, Jiang Pengyi, Lin Tianmiao, Tang Nannan, Li Xiaofei and Yang Mushi.   

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White Rabbit , Chippendale Until Sunday July 30 2017

Art Month Sydney

Art Month in Sydney is about much more than exhibitions – although there are certainly a lot of them; the program extends to talks, tours, open studios, performances, workshops and classes. This year's Art Month sees the return of two popular annual features: the Collectors Space exhibition and the Art At Night program, which throws precinct-wide parties combining performance, pop-up food and drink, and extended gallery hours.

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By: Dee Jefferson

Moonlight Cinema is selling their last tickets for $10

If you've been a bit 'coulda, shoulda, woulda' about checking out Moonlight Cinema now you may be finally be pushed into a 'you bet I will-a'. The outdoor theatre under the stars in Centennial Park is flogging their remaining tickets for the price of a modest, staggeringly cheap Sydney breakfast. Yep, only ten bucks! 

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By: Claire Finneran

Mov'in Bed Open Air Cinema

Q. The summer won't last forever, movie fans, so what will you do for your outdoor cinema fix when autumn draws in? A. You'll head to Parramatta Park for the triumphant return of outdoor bed cinema, now under the name Mov'in Bed.  Crawl under the blankets with a glass of wine and settle in for another beautifuly curated season of movies you actually want to see as opposed to just the latest stuff the studios are pumping out. Be speedy though if you're up for this, as there are just 150 beds per night (accommodating up to three people – cosy).

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Parramatta Park , Parramatta Until Sunday April 23 2017

Hope for better weather next weekend

Makers and Shakers Market


Marrickville Town Hall has been home to the quarterly vintage fashion market Round She Goes for around three years. Founder Emma Morris has added another market to our calendar, this time focusing on ethical homewares. “I’m a fairly conscious consumer and I appreciate workmanship and quality,” says Morris, who tells us she’s motivated by ethical shopping but that it wasn’t a conscious theme for this market. “I’m interested in that alternative experience, rather than going to a shopping centre where everything is the same, made in the same factories, this market is for new homewares that are made locally.” Shallholders for the Makers and Shakers Market must either produce the items themselves or source those items ethically or locally. There’ll be 60 stallholders, including Nutie Donuts, Mister Toast, Black Pantry, Kirbee Lawler, You Are Brave Textiles, Clay Canoe and Antipastel.

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Marrickville Town Hall , Marrickville Saturday April 1 2017
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Explore the great indoors

The best museums in Sydney

Not just places for school excursions and escaping the summer sun, Sydney’s museums are where you’ll uncover stories about the people who’ve made this city what it is today, its natural history and the science, design and innovation that’ll propel us into the future.

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By: Dee Jefferson